Zurich Profit Picture Still Unclear After Annual Meeting

May 18, 2001

Rolf Hüppi, Zurich’s Financial Services Chairman and CEO, painted a mixed picture for investors at the company’s annual shareholders meeting, even as his dual role was reaffirmed by a large margin.

Following a 5.5 percent decrease in net profits last year, Hüppi has been under some pressure to give up one of his posts, but 87 percent of those present at the meeting supported his leadership.

Zurich, Europe’s third largest insurance group, is still struggling to integrate its Swiss, British and U.S. components. Although rate increases and expected gains in The Farmers Group in the U.S., should help the bottom line, Hüppi still acknowledged that Zurich’s asset management business ($440 billion making it one of the world’s largest), is still not meeting expectations.

Hüppi, who recently received the “International Insurance Award” from the International Insurance Council, still has a lot of work to do to halt the slide in Zurich’s share value, which has fallen by more than a third this year.

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